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Laboratory Tests Find Toxic Lead in 8 Imported Paints Obtained from Online Sellers

Leaded spray paints
Tests conducted by a private laboratory have confirmed the lead content of these imported paints above the maximum limit of 90 parts per million (ppm).

Quezon City. Laboratory tests commissioned by the EcoWaste Coalition confirmed the presence of lead, a toxic chemical banned in the manufacture of paints, in eight spray paints produced mostly in China.

The environmental watchdog group bought the paint products from local online dealers as part of its vigilant advocacy to promote business and industry compliance to the country’s ban on lead-containing paints as per DENR Administrative Order No. 2013-24.

Also known as the Chemical Control Order (CCO) for lead and lead compounds, this landmark policy bans lead in excess of 90 parts per million (ppm) in all paints and directs the phase-out of lead-containing decorative paints from 2013 to 2016 and lead-containing industrial paints from 2013 to 2019.

“Despite the strict prohibition on paints containing lead, we continue to find non-compliant products often sourced overseas that are offered for sale to consumers,” observed Manny Calonzo, Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition. “We urge consumers to always insist on our right to paint products that pose no lead exposure hazard to everyone, especially to children, women of reproductive age and the workers.”

As confirmed through laboratory tests performed by SGS Taiwan, the paints submitted by the EcoWaste Coalition for confirmatory analyses contained lead in the range of 952 ppm to 31,800 ppm, way above the 90 ppm limit.

The orange red, lemon yellow, grass green, leaf green and deep yellow variants of Veslee Paint Aerosol were found to contain 11,100 ppm, 11,100 ppm, 22,100 ppm, 22,200 ppm and 31,800 ppm of lead, respectively. These paints were manufactured by Guangdong Veslee Chemical Science and Technology Co. Ltd. as shown on the label.

The grass green Yatibay Acrylic Spray Paint contained 952 ppm of lead, while its deep yellow variant had 6,960 ppm. The product label provided no information about its manufacturer and/or distributor.

The eight product, a grass green RMC Spray Paint produced by Supcon Chemical Enterprise Ltd., tested with 13,200 ppm of lead.

Leaded spray paints
The EcoWaste Coalition, which successfully campaigned for the lead paint ban, continues to push for compliance monitoring.

According to a fact sheet prepared by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) for the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint (or the Lead Paint Alliance), “lead is a multi-system toxicant for which no safe level of exposure has been identified. One major source of exposure, particularly for children, is through lead paint, or paint to which lead compounds have been added as pigments, drying agents or anti-corrosives.”

“Lead exposure can cause chronic and debilitating health impacts in all age groups, but it is particularly harmful to young children. This is because their developing nervous systems can be damaged by lead, resulting in reduced cognitive abilities, poor educational attainment, attention deficit disorder and antisocial behavior. In adults, lead exposure can cause hypertension, renal impairment and damage to the reproductive organs,” the fact sheet explained.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Philippine Paint and Coatings Association, Inc. (PPCAI; formerly PAPM), Pacific Paint (Boysen) Philippines, Inc., International Pollutants Elimination Network (IPEN), and the EcoWaste Coalition are partners of the Lead Paint Alliance.

DAO-2013-24-CCO-Lead.pdf (emb.gov.ph)
LiP_Factsheet.pdf (unep.org)

EcoWaste Coalition
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